[ Ed. note – According to an article posted today at Uprooted Palestinians, Jewish settlers attacked and vandalized the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. The article doesn’t mention it, but the attack comes less than a month after archaeologists, in what is being hailed as a major discovery, opened up a burial chamber at the church that is thought to have been the actual tomb of Jesus.
It also comes after the raising of an Israeli flag above the church, an incident which took place at the end of last month and which resulted in protests from the Christian community.
Many Christians in the West are unaware of it, but a longstanding hostility toward the Christian faith, stemming perhaps from blasphemous depictions of Jesus in the Talmud, is pervasive in Jewish culture, and this is especially true in Israel. I have posted numerous articles on vandalism and desecration of churches in Israel (see here and here, for instance.) Whether the attack on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is in any way connected to recent discovery of the tomb is unclear, but certainly the discovery made a big splash in the news. Below you will find a video and a portion of an article from National Geographic. ]
Israeli Colonists Cause Damage to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
Many extremist illegal Israeli colonists, living in an outpost above the Church of Holy Sepulcher, in occupied Jerusalem, attacked the church property, causing damage, and attempted to occupy a room belonging to the church.
The attack caused excessive damage to the church property, while priests and church officials called the police, who later came to the church and were shown the damage.
The Nativity TV in Bethlehem has published a video of the attack’s aftermath, also showing a Greek Orthodox priest talking to Israeli police officers while inspecting the damage.
The video also shows illegal settlers in their outpost right above the building, with the Israeli flags raised above it.
Israelis Raise Flag at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher
The Higher Presidential Committee of Church Affairs in Palestine has condemned the raising of an Israeli flag at the eastern entrance of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also known as the Church of the Resurrection, in occupied Jerusalem.
The committee asserted, in a press release, that this constitutes a clear violation of the sanctity of the holy site, which is added to the daily violations of Israeli occupation forces against the city of occupied Jerusalem.
According to Al Ray, the committee called for implementing the (Status Quo) law which guarantees the rights of all religious communities and groups in Jerusalem.
The law states not to raise any flags on religious properties, and to prevent any Israeli attempts to confiscate these properties through these practices.
Historic Christian churches have been the target of frequent attacks of vandalism, and even arson, over recent years,by extremist Israeli settlers. However, these attacks continue more or less unabated by the international Christian community.
Unsealing of Christ’s Reputed Tomb Turns Up New Revelations
National Geographic | October 31, 2016
Researchers have continued their investigation into the site where the body of Jesus Christ is traditionally believed to have been buried, and their preliminary findings appear to confirm that portions of the tomb are still present today, having survived centuries of damage, destruction, and reconstruction of the surrounding Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The most venerated site in the Christian world, the tomb today consists of a limestone shelf or burial bed that was hewn from the wall of a cave. Since at least 1555, and most likely centuries earlier, the burial bed has been covered in marble cladding, allegedly to prevent eager pilgrims from removing bits of the original rock as souvenirs.
When the marble cladding was first removed on the night of October 26, an initial inspection by the conservation team from the National Technical University of Athens showed only a layer of fill material underneath. However, as researchers continued their nonstop work over the course of 60 hours, another marble slab with a cross carved into its surface was exposed. By the night of October 28, just hours before the tomb was to be resealed, the original limestone burial bed was revealed intact.
“This is the Holy Rock that has been revered for centuries, but only now can actually be seen,” said Chief Scientific Supervisor Professor Antonia Moropoulou, who is directing the conservation and restoration of the Edicule.
WAS THIS REALLY THE TOMB OF CHRIST?
While it is archaeologically impossible to say that the tomb recently uncovered in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the burial site of an individual Jew known as Jesus of Nazareth, there is indirect evidence to suggest that the identification of the site by representatives of the Roman emperor Constantine some 300 years later may be a reasonable one.